Preservation, Education, and Commemoration of Naval History
On the night of 26 April 1952 in the central Atlantic, the aircraft carrier USS Wasp (CV 18) collided with a much smaller destroyer minesweeper. USS Hobson (DMS 26) was cut in two, sinking with 176 of her crew.
Museum Store Stocks Bric Tek Navy Warship Building Block Kits
The Navy Museum store, located in the National Museum of the United States Navy at the Washington Navy Yard, recently began stocking Bric Tek building block kits of simulated naval warships. We currently stock seven different construction kits, ranging from a small frigate, all the way to a huge helicopter carrier (seen above) consisting of nearly 2,000 pieces. These Bric Tek sets are fully compatible with LEGO building blocks. Many of the ship sets come with smaller aircraft including helicopters and jets, and the carrier set even includes a hovercraft that can be safely stowed in a well deck! The sets also include poseable figures with guns, radios, and other attachments.
BOOK REVIEW – USN Destroyer VS IJN Destroyer: The Pacific 1943
By Mark E. Stille, with contributors, Osprey Publishing, Long Island City, NY (2012)
Reviewed by Michael F. Solecki
The naval frigates known as “destroyers” first came into their own in the Pacific Theater of World War II. These ships evolved out of the 1890s from the need to counter smaller torpedo boats used to attack capital ships in fleet-formation; getting their name from the shortening of the original moniker of “Torpedo Boat Destroyer.” They are known as the “greyhounds of the sea” for their sleek hulls, tasking flexibility, speed, maneuverability and stamina; oh, and of course their “haze grey” color.
A Hard Fought Ship, The Story of HMS Venomous
By Robert J.Moore and John A. Rodgaard; Holywell Publishing, St. Albans, Hertfordshire, UK, (2010).
Reviewed by Thomas C. Hone, Ph.D.
This well-illustrated paperback book covers the career of a Royal Navy destroyer commissioned in 1919 and the experiences of the men who served in her. The book does a splendid job of giving the reader a sense of what it was like to serve on a small, long-serving destroyer. Most such “you are there” books place the reader on a ship during one campaign or one engagement. A Hard Fought Ship covers the lifetime of Venomous, a ship that was neither famous nor glamorous. This is important; most sailors who spent much time at sea in World Wars I and II did so on ships whose names most of us do not know. Without books such as A Hard Fought Ship, their every-day reality would be lost to us.
The Naval Historical Foundation’s Dr. Dave Winkler will be interviewed by Russian TV about a 1988 incident in the Black Sea, when two Soviet frigates rammed US Navy cruiser USS Yorktown (CG 48) and destroyer USS Caron (DD 970). More on the incident appears in an article by Winkler in February’s Navy League Sea Power magazine.
Photo: USS Yorktown (CG 48) underway in 2002. US Navy photo 020224-N-OB537-502.
NHF Historian Wins LEGO Shipbuilding Contest with 5 Foot Long Fletcher Class Destroyer
This past Saturday, the Hampton Roads Naval Museum (HRNM) held their second annual “Brick by Brick: LEGO Shipbuilding” contest. The event brought together those who love naval history, and those who love the iconic children’s construction blocks. The day-long event encouraged builders of all ages to bring in LEGO ships they had created at home, to enter into a contest. Over 100 creations were entered, and nearly 1,500 people visited the Museum for the event. We’re happy to announce that one of our own was judged the grand prize winner for the day. Naval Historical Foundation Digital Historian Dave Colamaria built a five foot long replica of a Fletcher class destroyer, and was selected by representatives of HRNM and the Hampton Roads LEGO User Group as the overall winner.
On 23 January 1960 the bathyscaph Trieste descended 35,814 to the deepest part of the ocean, the Challenger Deep in the Marianas Trench, off Guam, the deepest point in any of the World’s oceans. This photo shows Trieste just before her record dive, with Lieutenant Don Walsh, USN, and Swiss scientist Jacques Piccard on board. Waves were about five to six feet high when the two men boarded Trieste from the rubber raft seen at left. USS Lewis (DE 535) is steaming by in the background. NHHC image NH 96797.
Trieste is now on permanent display at the National Museum of the United States Navy in Washington, DC.
We recently published a story about Lieutenant Walsh, penned by Norman Polmar, read that story here: http://www.navyhistory.org/2013/01/normans-corner-meeting-don-walsh/
On 6 January 1996, USS Hopper (DDG 70), named for Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, was launched.
BOOK REVIEW – Destroyer Captain: Lessons of a First Command
By Admiral James Stavridis, USN, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD. (2012)
Reviewed by Stephen Phillips
Destroyer Captain is a memoir first, a collection of lessons learned second. To be sure, there are nuggets of naval leadership, such as commentary on the nuances of ship handling, and philosophical discussions about the theater of command. So while there are stories of meting out punishment at mast and suggestions on how to mentor junior sailors and officers, these are balanced with descriptions of liberty and the repast of various restaurants on the French Riviera.